Looking Up

On the 11th of January we reported that according to a Dutch newspaper the US air force was systematically carpet bombing areas of Iraq. I send this to ICH and the Raw story who did not pick up on it. Today Tom Engelhardt published and article on the same but so far it has been the only other outlet I have seen this news. Also a recent survey showed that more than a million Iraqis had died as a result of the war. Recalculated for the US population that would equal approcimatly 12 million people if a war had caused the same percentage of casualties in the US.
I’m sure they would have thought that was Genocide.

It also means that 400 Iraqis died for every one of the casualties in the attacks on 9/11 and were not even counting the Afghanistani death toll.

Recalculated again for the same event to have happened in the US this would mean that 9000 people would have died per death as the result of an attack on a country they had nothing to do with.

When are the American population going to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable?

By Tom Engelhardt

A January 21st Los Angeles Times Iraq piece by Ned Parker and Saif Rasheed led with an inter-tribal suicide bombing at a gathering in Fallujah in which members of the pro-American Anbar Awakening Council were killed. (“Asked why one member of his Albu Issa tribe would kill another, Aftan compared it to school shootings that happen in the United States.”) Twenty-six paragraphs later, the story ended this way:

“The U.S. military also said in a statement that it had dropped 19,000 pounds of explosives on the farmland of Arab Jabour south of Baghdad. The strikes targeted buried bombs and weapons caches.”In the last 10 days, the military has dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of explosives on the area, which has been a gateway for Sunni militants into Baghdad.”

And here’s paragraph 22 of a 34-paragraph January 22nd story by Stephen Farrell of the New York Times:

“The threat from buried bombs was well known before the [Arab Jabour] operation. To help clear the ground, the military had dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of bombs to destroy weapons caches and I.E.D.’s.”

Farrell led his piece with news that an American soldier had died in Arab Jabour from an IED that blew up “an MRAP, the new Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected armored vehicle that the American military is counting on to reduce casualties from roadside bombs in Iraq.”

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NATO Genocide in Afghanistan

By Ali Khan

30/01/08 “ICH” — — Ali Khan argues that the internationally recognized crime of genocide applies to the intentional killings that NATO troops commit on a weekly basis in the poor villages and mute mountains of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban.

Sloganeers, propagandists and politicians often use the word “genocide” in ways that the law does not permit. But rarely is the crime of genocide invoked when Western militaries murder Muslim groups. This essay argues that the internationally recognized crime of genocide applies to the intentional killings that NATO troops commit on a weekly basis in the poor villages and mute mountains of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban, a puritanical Islamic group. NATO combat troops bombard and kill people in Taliban enclaves and meeting places. They also murder defenseless Afghan civilians. The dehumanized label of “Taliban” is used to cloak the nameless victims of NATO operations. Some political opposition to this practice is building in NATO countries, such as Canada, where calls are heard to withdraw troops from Afghanistan or divert them to non-combat tasks.

Dehumanization

In almost all NATO nations, the Taliban have been completely dehumanized — a historically-tested signal that perpetrators of the crime of genocide carry unmitigated intentions to eradicate the dehumanized group. Politicians, the armed forces, the media, and even the general public associate in the West the Taliban with irrational fanatics, intolerant fundamentalists, brutal assassins, beheaders of women, bearded extremists, and terrorists. This luminescent negativity paves the way for aggression, military operations, and genocide. Promoting the predatory doctrine of collective self-defense, killing the Taliban is celebrated as a legal virtue. To leave the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, says NATO, is to leave a haven for terrorism.

A similar dehumanization took place in the 16th and 17th centuries when NATO precursors occupied the Americas to purloin land and resources. The killings of native inhabitants were extensive and heartless. Thomas Jefferson, the noble author of the Declaration of Independence, labeled Indians as “merciless savages.” President Andrew Jackson pontificated: “What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms.” Promoting the predatory doctrine of discovery, the United States Supreme Court later ratified the pilgrims’ crimes, holding that “discovery gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title (to land). ([T]he Indians were fierce savages…To leave them in possession of their country was to leave the country a wilderness.”

The predators have not changed their stripes a bit. They come, they demonize, they obliterate. They do all this in the name of superior civilization.

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Afghanistan — the next disaster

By Saul Landau Read Spanish Version
After six plus years, the war in Afghanistan drags on. The media occasionally cites casualties, but if it doesn’t involve National Football League veteran Pat Tillman’s execution by his own comrades, Afghanistan gets sparse attention. A few stories feature the growing number of Afghan and Iraq War vets on American streets. But the aspiring candidates ignore such “blowback.” Instead, they demonstrate verbal aggression, a characteristic thought necessary for victory. “We’ve got to get the job done there [Afghanistan],” Barack Obama asserted without specifying what the “job” is. (AP, Aug 14, 2007)
Obama called for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and sending them to “the right battlefield,” Afghanistan and Pakistan. To pressure Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to act against terrorist training camps, Obama would use military force — if he became President — against those “terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans.” (Bloomberg, Aug 1, 2007)
In mid January, Bush dispatched 3,200 additional marines to Afghanistan. Curiously, the uncurious media didn’t ask why U.S. and NATO forces continue to fight there. Nation Building? With little or no budget for reconstructing the country?

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Shell’s record profits branded ‘obscene’

  • guardian.co.uk,
  • Thursday January 31 2008
  • Shell petrol pump

    Shell petrol pump. Photograph: David Sillitoe

    Shell was today accused of making “obscene” profits at a time when pensioners, motorists and industry are struggling with higher energy prices when it unveiled annual earnings of $27.6bn (£13.9bn).

    The oil major has made British corporate history with the record figures, which are equivalent to more than £1.5m an hour and come at the end of a three month period when crude prices have averaged over $90 a barrel.

    Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, described the performance as “satisfactory” and admitted that overall production for the year had actually dropped 2%.

    He said the company had benefited from launching new oil and gas projects but had suffered in the last quarter from weak refining margins.

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    Commission Confidential

    It seems that Max Holland thinks that we are all conspiray nutters but even he now has to come to the conclusion that something stank in the 9/11 Commision. Never mind that the “Jersey girls” wanted Zelikow out the moment they found out that he was in cahoots with the rest of the cabal.

    In a revelation bound to cast a pall over the 9/11 Commission, Philip Shenon will report in a forthcoming book that the panel’s executive director, Philip Zelikow, engaged in “surreptitious” communications with presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Bush administration officials during the commission’s 20-month investigation into the 9/11 attacks.

         Shenon, who led The New York Times’ coverage of the 9/11 panel, reveals the Zelikow-Rove connection in a new book entitled The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, to be published next month by TWELVE books. The Commission is under an embargo until its February 5 publication, but Washington DeCoded managed to purchase a copy of the abridged audio version from a New York bookstore.

        In what’s termed an “investigation of the investigation,” Shenon purports to tell the story of the commission from start to finish. The book’s critical revelations, however, revolve almost entirely around the figure of Philip Zelikow, a University of Virginia professor and director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs prior to his service as the commission’s executive director. Shenon delivers a blistering account of Zelikow’s role and leadership, and an implicit criticism of the commissioners for appointing Zelikow in the first place—and then allowing him to stay on after his myriad conflicts-of-interest were revealed under oath.

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    Methodist ministers against Bush library

    Some Methodist ministers are making a final yet improbable attempt to stop George W. Bush’s presidential library, museum and public policy institute from being built at Southern Methodist University.They say United Methodist law requires approval from the church’s South Central Jurisdiction, whose 290 delegates meet in July. The opponents say at least one-third of the delegates are against the Bush institute because it will promote his administration’s policies that they feel conflict with church teachings.

    “Let it be a topic of discussion and debate, and let the decision be made at the jurisdiction meeting,” said the Rev. Kenneth Hicks of Little Rock, Ark., a retired bishop who opposes the institute. “Whichever side of the Bush library issue you’re on, it would be more appropriate to do it in this democratic fashion.”

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    Russia to rearrange troops due to U.S. missile shield

    MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to change the configuration of troops in Kaliningrad in response to U.S. missile shield plans in Central Europe, a high-ranking army official said on Wednesday.

    “The General Staff and the main combat training department of the Russian Armed Forces are deciding how we will configure the troops,” said Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, who heads the Armed Forces combat training directorate.

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